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Pope Francis: The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone! 'Father, the atheists?' Even the atheists. Everyone!
The Incarnate Word to Jeanne de Matel, IWBS Foundress:You must climb Calvary to find ME.
Lent- Time to Serve the Suffering Incarnate Word in our Neighbor
of natural disasters, political unrest, violent crimes, disease outbreaks, and other calamities bombard us
every day. Closer to home, even in our own homes and local communities, we see the results of unemployment,
home foreclosures, accidents, illnesses, consequences of poor judgment, and numerous other personal
Sometimes we feel so overwhelmed with these woes that we give up. Consequently we may
think, “What can I do? There’s only so much that one can do.” As a result we may end up doing nothing which
only makes the situation worse because of the non-caring example that we give to those about us.
Fortunately, the Church in its wisdom, provides us with liturgical seasons which help us pause and reflect
upon our relationship with our God and our neighbor. Lent is such a season; it calls us to conversion through
prayer, fasting, and giving alms.
Let us explore how these activities address the woes that have been described above. For example, we can
pray for the victims of adverse conditions. Through praying, we can strengthen our relationship with God, by
repeatedly giving praise, asking for favors, and then giving thanks for favors that we have received, even
though they may not have been to favors for which we have prayed. We may underestimate the power of prayer;
even scientific research has showed that hospital patients who have been prayed for have quicker recovery
rates than patients who have not been prayed for.
Along with prayer, we are called to fast during this penitential season. Now we all know that the minimum
required fast days (Ash Wednesday and Good Friday) are for Catholics between the ages of 18 and 59, unless
one has a legitimate excuse. Now, some of us might not meet these age requirements for fasting from food;
however there are many other ways all of us could deprive ourselves or refrain from anything that may be
endangering our relationship with God and one another. We may also want to deny ourselves legitimate goods or
desires; foregoing some such pleasurable but non-essential things or experiences, done in a spirit of
penance, can illustrate our solidarity with those who are experiencing difficult times.
money and time we can save through this voluntary self-denial leads us to the third means of conversion, that
of alms-giving. Regarding alms-giving, we are so constantly being beseeched to give to various causes that it
is hard to decide how to set priorities in our giving. While it is wise to investigate the various causes and
give where it is most needed; our motivation for giving is most important. Let us give in a spirit of charity
and remember, “Whatsoever you do … .”
Therefore, may this penitential season be a time of continuing conversion as we embrace prayer, fasting, and
alms-giving as a means of strengthening our relationship with God and with one another.
Our Charism and Our Mission in the Church Today
We, the Sisters
of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament of Victoria, Texas,
are women of the Church, who, in our communal living, seek
to focus on the Person of the Incarnate Word through adoration,
witness, and the Extension of the Eucharist by service to others
in a spirit of charity and simplicity.
Our mission is to extend the Incarnation in today's
world by living the Gospel of Love, proclaiming the Good News and
building the Kingdom of God.
Impelled by love to share the Incarnate Word's mission
of bringing God's kingdom to be, we joyfully seek to serve those
in need, through an apostolate of Christian education and care of
the sick as determined by the current needs of the church.
IWBS Leadership Team
The new leadership team of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament Sisters of Victoria, Texas, was installed on June 15, 2012. Standing (Left to Right) are: Sister Odilia Korenek- Second Councilor, Sister Clare Underbrink- Third Councilor, Sister Andrea Hubnik- General Treasurer and Sister Amata Hollas-General Secretary. Seated (Left to Right) are Sister Kathleen Goike-First Councilor, Sister Stephana Marbach- Superior General, and Sister Laura Toman- Fourth Councilor. The team looks forward to serving the Congregation for the next six years.
Right:Sisters Andrea, Laura, Clare, Odilia and Kathleen place their hands on the Word of God as they promise to assist, advise and support the General Superior (Sister Stephana, who is standing at right) in promoting the Charism and mission of Venerable Jeanne de Matel in service to our congregation.Seated at right is Bishop David Felhauer who officiated at the Eucharist. Below: Sisters enjoy a delicious banquet prepared by Sisters and the kitchen staff.
Forty Days in the Desert
As we enter into the season of Lent, we reflect upon Jesus’ forty day experience in the desert. In the Gospels, we read how He was led by the Spirit into the desert. St. Mark even states it more strongly, “… the spirit drove him into the desert.”
That same Spirit is leading each of us into the desert of Lent –a renewal time in which we attempt to sharpen our focus on God by disassociating ourselves from the clutter of life which, unfortunately, has a tendency to capture our hearts and cloud our spiritual vision.
We strive to focus on our calling as Christians through the traditional practices of prayer, alms-giving, and fasting. Through our prayer and reflection on the scriptures we try to tune into God’s wave-length; one excellent means of accomplishing this is the “Disciples on the Journey” Faith-Sharing Lenten Process that is being used in many of our parishes.
Alms-giving, -sharing our time and resources with our needy brothers and sisters- is a reminder that we are called to be stewards of material blessings rather than allowing them to distract us or to create an allusion of vain self-importance.
Fasting is a means of developing that inner discipline which will strengthen our character and clarify our spiritual vision. Fasting applies not only to food, but to any actions or words that are not helpful, and may even be harmful, to ourselves or others. Then, renewed and strengthened, we, like Jesus, can discern the difference between fleeting temporal illusions and inspirations that contribute to the realization of God’s Kingdom.
We don’t need to wait for the devil to subject us to temptation. Our society itself is doing a very good job of that. We are constantly being bombarded with current ideas and events that compromise or violate the sanctity of life and morality.
Let’s look at an example of humans undermining the sanctity of one of the most important of institutions. As I write this, I hear of thousands of people flocking to the states and cities which allow licenses for same-sex “marriages” –as if a piece of paper could override all the biblical and Church teaching on the integrity and purpose of the sacrament of matrimony.
Another example it the invasive “culture of death” which had so distressed Pope John Paul II that he called the universal Church to promote a “culture of life.” Our society has been lulled into a complacency which often denies the God-given right to life of the unborn, the inconvenient, the aged, the ill, or the troublesome.
I’m sure you can list other illusions that have a tendency to distort our spiritual vision and dissipate our single-hearted desire to follow our baptismal calling to seek the Kingdom of God. Let us then allow the Spirit to lead us on our journey through these forty day of Lent.
Sisters Share "Interviews With Missionaries" Award with the Catholic Lighthouse
Sister Evelyn Korenek, General Superior (white jacket) and Sister Laura Toman (left) receive the Archbishop Edward T. O'Meara Award from the Society for the Propagration of the Faith from Cynthia Brewer, editor of The Catholic Lighthouse newspaper, and assistant, Regina Matus-Janak(right). Cindy's article on Sister Rebecca Janacek, Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament missionary in Africa, won Honorable Mention 2011 "Interviews With Missionaries." The story was titled "Sister Rebecca: Kenyan Daktari Ya Watu, Wanyama Na Mtu Ya Duka (Doctor, Veterinarian and Shopkeeper)".
IWBS Sisters and Associates Host National Incarnate Word Reunion
The Victoria Sisters and Associates of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament of Victoria hosted the Eighth Incarnate Word National Reunion on July 22-24, 2011. The theme of the assembly was: Sisters and Associates of the Incarnate Word: On the Cutting Edge of a New Vision - Where are WE Standing? As the Sisters and Associates of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament from Cleveland, Corpus Christi, Houston, along with representatives from the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word gathered, the reception area rang out with greetings of joy upon reuniting with old friends and meeting new ones who shared the Incarnate Word heritage. The Reunion gave us the opportunity to search out some aspects of our common heritage, and to share prayer, food and laughter. It gave us an opportunity to share what the Incarnate Word is doing in our lives and ministry,as each Congregation gave a presentation on how its members were "extending the Incarnate Word".
Pictured: (top left) Victoria Sisters; (top right) Victoria Associates; (center right) Corpus Christi Sisters and Associates; (bottom left) Cleveland Sisters and Associates; (bottom center) Houston Sisters and Associate; (bottom right) Houston Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word
Sisters Enjoy Time Together on Community Days
Every member of the Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament was present at the annual gathering in which we focused upon the continuing effort to Refound our Congregation upon the spirit and charism of our foundress, Venerable Jeanne Chezard de Matel. In the opening session of the assembly, Sister Digna Vela helped us explore the mystery of the Trinity as a model for community and unity. Saturday Father Stan DeBoe and Brother Patrick Wildgen continued the process of encouraging us to live as our foundress did -enbracing whole-heartedly our Triune God and letting go of our fears and beliefs and practices that no longer fit our world today. Sunday morning began with a prayer in which we illustrated the weaving of our spirituality and practices around a maypole. May we continue this weaving as we continue Jeanne de Matel's spirit and charism as we meet the challenges that the "Signs of the Times" present to us as faithful daughters of the Church. We pray that the grace of our Creator God, the love of the Incarnate Word and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit sustain us as our Refounding journey continues.
IWBS Sisters Welcome New Associates of the Incarnate Word
The Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament Sisters are happy to welcome newly consecrated Associates. Their foundress, Jeanne de Matel received a special call to institute an Order that would be a new introduction of the Incarnate Word in the world. She saw, in the Associate program, a way to share this gift with many more persons in their own particular way of life. In an effort to be faithful to our own call "to draw others to share in the graces of the Incarnate Word", we have been sharing our spirit with Associates for some twenty years. We have 140 Associates from more than 20 parishes.
Click on "Our Associates" for more on "Associates' Consecration".
Victoria IWBS Sisters Have a Meeting with "Partners in Mission"
The Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament Sisters have invited "Partners in Mission," some of the lay men and women among whom they minister, to reflect upon needs of the Church and how we can address some of them together.
Our retreat provides time for spiritual renewal, prayer, and reflection!
Competent directors, attentive listening, and quiet reflection spaces contribute to a God-filled experience!
We strive to deepen our relationship with the Incarnate Word so that we can more authentically proclaim Him.
Our Sisters Support Pro-life Activities
Sisters Ready for Right to Life March in January
Our Sisters demonstrate our strong pro-life stance by participating in pro-life activities such as "right to life" marches.
On evenings of executions in Texas, you are invited to join us in a Prayer Vigil at 5:45 PM* in our Incarnate Word Convent Chapel, 1101 NE Water Street in Victoria, Texas. We pray for the murder victim, for family and friends of the murder victim, for the prison guards and correctional officers, for the family of the condemned man/woman, for the man/woman to be executed, and for an end to the death penalty. If you plan to join us, please call and check on the time because some days, our scheduling is altered.
Scheduled Executions in Texas
March 19: Ray Jasper
March 27: Anthony Doyle
April 3: Tommy Sells
April 9: Ramiro Hernandez
April 16: Jose Villegas
May 13: Robert Campbell
May 29: Edgardo Cubas
As we reflect on the Incarnate Word and his call for us to rejoice, let us be mindful that we are celebrating the major events of the awesome incarnation, life, death, and resurrection of the Second Person of God, in which He became one of us so that He could redeem us and lead us to the Father. Now, let us seek Him and let us look afresh at this awesome mystery through the eyes of mystics since we are all called, through our Baptism, to be mystics, that is, persons of prayer, persons whose experience of the presence of God is intense and leads to continuing conversion.Let us respond to this call to deep communion of love and of knowledge with God and then share it with all humankind as prophets -persons whocommunicate the message of God to the whole world. Therefore, let us receive God’s love and, in turn, extend it to others -as mystics and prophets in today's Church.Go to Top